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Main Event: Civic Theatre brings back successful Encore fundraiser

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April and Gary Dahl draw the attention of the Press Corp as they make their entrance to the Rochester Civic Theatre Gala. Serving as the press for this years event the Otherwise Actors.
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Celebrating the contributions of theater, music, dance, and art education in our community, more than 150 people attended Rochester Civic Theatre's Encore Gala, held Sept. 20.

The event, now in its fifth year, raised nearly $29,000 to benefit educational and outreach programs, as well as stage productions of the Civic Theatre.

"These are all very important to our mission at the theater," said Executive Director Gregory Stavrou. "We have the one and only conservatory-level performing arts program in the community. Our outreach includes an ongoing residency with Olmsted County Correctional Facility to bring the power of performing arts to women detainees."

"At the Civic, we are highlighting the importance of the voices of women, considering questions of oppression and resiliency," he added.

Encore 2014 began with a reception and dinner, followed by main stage entertainment including musical selections from "Rent." A dessert reception followed the live auction.

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"Encore is a great way to bring those who work onstage, those behind the scenes, and the audience all together in a medium where everyone gets to mingle," said actress Lindsay Herr.

"I'm a long-time friend of theater," said Deirdre Conroy,attending with Brian Schmitz. "Encore gives people the experience of theater all in one night. They can only do that with the support of the community."

"It's a really fun night," said actress Laura Vannelli."The theater is a nice community to be a part of, a unique place in town."

Backstage volunteer Nate Parentsaid he has enjoyed a variety of tasks in the five years he has helped at the theater.

"I've built sets, worked spotlights, and I was one of the bakers in Flowers for Algernon. I enjoy it all — I come from a theater-oriented family," he said.

Jim Weaver,who has worked in the backstage running crew for four years, said "I love doing this. What I have learned here, I am able to use as I help in church productions and vice versa. Also, just meeting new people at the theater is fun."

"I'm a great supporter of the arts," said Hollybeth Anderson."I love what it does for the community and it gives me personal satisfaction to be involved."

"We really believe in supporting the arts in town," said Mike Enke,attending with his wife, Cami.

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"There's a lot of talent here tonight," added Cami.

"I met my husband Bruceat the theater in Mantorville," said Vicki Snyder,"so I have a real affection for theater. I am happy to be here and support this wonderful organization."

"The Civic Theatre uses local talent to bring terrific shows you would pay a lot more for in a different venue," Bruce added.

"Theater is very important. It's one of the loves of mine," said Carol Graumann-Matz."I haven't been to as many productions as I would like. I like the musicals best."

"What a great program the Summer Theatre Academy is for the kids. Singing, dancing, acting. It's preparing kids for a professional theater experience," said April Dahlof Dahl Dance Center,attending with husband Gary.

Bari Amadio,from the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust, said, "The Civic Theatre has produced shows the caliber of and even better than some New York shows. 'Fiddler on the Roof' was wonderful. Civic Theatre is a happening place. Walk down to the theater and see what is happening here."

Rochester Civic Theatre "produces and presents over 350 performances annually, 250 classes for children of all ages, and ongoing award winning outreach, serving an annual audience of over 50,000 adults and children."

For more information, visit www.rochestercivictheatre.org .

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Up next

On Nov. 4, we'll feature Join the Journey, a fundraiser for breast cancer support and research.

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